CLAREMONT, Bronx (WABC) -- The investigation into a fire in the Bronx is underway after firefighters made a dramatic rescue Sunday morning.
The fire broke out inside a top-floor apartment of a five-story building on Morris Avenue in the Bronx.
After firefighters broke down the door, they heard a child crying.
They pushed past the flames to reach a mother and daughter trapped inside.
"I heard them screaming, I couldn't get to them, there was to much smoke, it was so heartbreaking cause I know them, I was so sorry for her and the baby," a neighbor named Kathy said Monday.
She did not want to go on camera, but said she lives next door to the apartment where flames trapped the mother and her child.
The apartment building is just up the block from a firehouse. The first team to arrive headed to the top floor but the door was locked from the inside.
Without hesitating, Lt. John Vanderstar of Ladder 44 broke down the door.
Even though the fire was raging, crews had not yet gotten water on it, Vanderstar ducked below the flames and raced into the unit.
"As he entered the fire apartment, he heard cries of a child and made the decision with his inside team to push passed that fire," said FDNY Deputy Chief Paul Miller. "He's been recognized for his bravery and he did it again today."
Medics rushed the mother and daughter to the hospital with critical injuries.
Kathy said she is grateful Vanderstar was there to save her neighbors, even putting himself in harm's way to protect others.
"It was so amazing he came inside, I was so scared for them, when I saw them come out, we were all screaming and crying for our life," Kathy said.
It is not yet clear what caused the fire.
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